Panel Paper: What Makes Public Employees Want to Leave Their Job: A Meta-Analysis of Turnover Intention Predictors Among Public Sector Employees

Friday, November 8, 2019
Plaza Building: Concourse Level, Plaza Court 6 (Sheraton Denver Downtown)

*Names in bold indicate Presenter

Hyunkang Hur, Indiana University, Kokomo and Gordon Abner, University of Texas, Austin

Over the past two decades public organizations have encountered difficulty in keeping their personnel. A variety of theoretical explanations have been offered for why turnover intention occurs, and numerous constructs have been examined as antecedents of turnover intention (Cornog 1957; Lewis 1991; Wilson 1994; Feiock and Stream 1998; Bertelli 2007; Pitts, Marvel, and Fernandez 2011; Grissom, Viano, and Selin 2015). However, little effort has been made to systematically investigate these hypotheses within public management scholarship. To address this research gap, this study conducts a meta-analysis of the existing literature on the turnover intention of public sector employees. Turnover intention was measured by various measures of either the intention to leave or the intention to remain employed. The 89 journals that are listed in the Public Administration category of the 2018 ISI Journal Citation Reports: Social Science Edition (Thomson Reuters) and SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) were searched for relevant studies covering the period of 1990 to 2018. 54 relevant studies were identified. The study reports the determinants of public sector turnover intention and their respective effect sizes. We hope that the findings from this study offers some practical advice to public management practitioners and helps inform theory building regarding the interconnections between human resource management practices and turnover intentions.